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I just finished rereading Red Thunder by John Varley, which is a fine read, as are the other two books in his trilogy. This time, Heinlein's Rocket Ship Galileo flashed into my brain.

Please note, I am NOT in any way suggesting that Varley in any way copied Heinlein. Varley's book is richer in many ways than Heinlein's, which is a book for young readers. I read it when I was 13. It was the first science fiction I ever read.

Nevertheless, Varley and Heinlein are linked together on many inside-cover blurbs, e.g.,

Varley has earned the mantle of Heinlein

Can anyone recommend an article which discussses the influence of Heinlein on Varley?

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    I can't point to any article, but Heinlein's influence on Varley is unmistakable. In his novels Steel Beach and The Golden Globe, he even references Heinlein with a subculture called "Heinleiners". And in Rolling Thunder which is dedicated to Heinlein), the main character is named Podkayne after Heinlein's titular character in his novel Podkayne of Mars. – Klaus Æ. Mogensen Jan 25 at 8:41
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    The question should be left open because it has a definite answer. In this case, the answer is evidently No. If the answer had been Yes, with a citation, then would there still be a call to close the question? – Invisible Trihedron Jan 31 at 3:16
  • @InvisibleTrihedron Well, there's no way to tell. If someone wanted to spend weeks down the rabbit hole of the fanzine archive, they might come across something... – Spencer Apr 6 at 12:58
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We have John Varley's own words, in a blog he wrote after accepting the 2009 Robert A. Heinlein award:

I’ve won Hugo and Nebula awards, but none of them mean as much to me as this one does. I remember Mr. Green, the librarian at C.O. Wilson Junior High, handing me a copy of RED PLANET, by Heinlein, and saying I might enjoy it. Enjoy it? I went NUTS! I read ALL Heinlein’s books in the coming weeks, and all the other science fiction I could find. That book set the course of my life...

Source: https://varley.net/nonfiction/news/the-2009-robert-a-heinlein-award/

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  • Looks like you spent only one hour down the rabbit hole! Thanks. – ab2 Apr 7 at 12:49
  • @ab2 I chased a different rabbit. – Spencer Apr 7 at 13:18

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